Wilson takes pride in Celtic's much-improved defensive steel

Celtic full-back Mark Wilson believes his side's previously-maligned defence deserve more credit for their record this season. Celtic have only conceded 18 goals in their 33 Scottish Bank Premier League matches, 10 less than leaders Rangers.

Manager Neil Lennon has been praised for assembling a goalscoring outfit thanks to signings such as Gary Hooper, Anthony Stokes and Kris Commons. But he has also restored confidence in the club's defence despite having to experiment at the back before Charlie Mulgrew and Daniel Majstorovic settled in as first-choice centre-backs.

Wilson has produced arguably his best form in a Celtic shirt in recent months while Emilio Izaguirre has been outstanding at left-back. Fraser Forster has impressed in goal when called upon but has been well protected in most games, something Wilson is proud of.

"Everybody loves attacking football and scoring goals but in the last few years, there has always been so much criticism thrown at the defence, and how it isn't good enough," Wilson said. "Now they are keeping a good record, it's very rarely spoken of."

Wilson's resurgence following a series of injuries has coincided with a marked improvement in Celtic's defensive record. They have only conceded five goals in the 15 SPL games Wilson has started since the turn of the year, two of which were penalties. The 26-year-old, whose form earned him a Scotland debut in the February victory over Northern Ireland, feels the increasing solidity has helped the attacking players.

"If you have confidence in your goalkeeper and your back four, it definitely gives the boys up front a licence to try and express themselves and score a goal here and there," Wilson said. "It takes the pressure off them a wee bit. They obviously understand that we aren't going to concede many goals.

"But it's not just the back four and the goalkeeper. It comes throughout the team and the midfielders must take a lot of credit for it as well as they stop a lot of attacks before they get to us."

The former Dundee United player added: "I take a lot of pride in clean sheets. As I said before, throughout the years I have been here, there has always been a lot of criticism labelled at the defence and I have been part of it.

"You have phone-ins and newspapers saying the defence is shocking etc. So you take a lot of pride in clean sheets and for keepers it's even better, of course. Big Fraser has been terrific and big Lukasz [Zaluska] as well when he has come in. The saves they make are obviously more important than the four guys defending."

Celtic next put their defensive record to the test against Dundee United at home on Sunday. They could be four points behind Rangers, who play Motherwell 24 hours earlier.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The beat is on: Alfred Doda, Gjevat Kelmendi and Orli Shuka in ‘Hyena’
filmReview: Hyena takes corruption and sleaziness to a truly epic level
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable